Edinburgh University 0, Gala Fairydean Rovers 1
“From one extreme to the other” was how Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Steven Noble aptly described a topsy-turvy week for the club.
After the crushing 10-1l defeat at the hands of East Stirlingshire, the team bounced back on Saturday with a victory against Edinburgh University at Peffermill and registered their first clean sheet of the season.
It was a deserved win against a team which has caused the Braw Lads plenty of problems in the past.
The manner of the performance pleased Noble, who said: “He said:”We were looking for a reaction from the players and we got it. There were a lot of times we did not have the ball but the team kept their shape and proved very difficult to break down, and restricted their chances.
“We scored a great goal with a quality strike and we looked comfortable after that, although University came at us right at the end and hit the woodwork twice.
“But overall, we deserved it. It was a big three points for us.”
While the home side had plenty of possession in the first half, they rarely troubled Gala ‘keeper Kieran Wright’ although they had a goal chalked off
for offside on the half-hour mark.
The only other talking point of the first half was a shot from Gala skipper Billy Miller, which struck the post and rebounded off the ‘keeper for a corner.
After the break, the visitors opened up and took the game to the students, causing plenty of problems down both flanks.
The only goal of the game came in the 55th minute and it was a peach. A corner from the right caused panic in the University defence and Ross Aitchison was first to react with a stunning volley, which sailed into the top corner of the net.
Confidence seemed to surge through the Gala players after that and they pursued a second goal.
Sub Stuart Noble had the ball in the net 10 minutes later but was judged to have fouled a defender, who collided with his own goalkeeper.
Sean Pringle, a recent recruit from Gala Hotspur and who had another fine game, had a great chance to wrap up the points but sent his point -blank range header over the bar.
It was only in the closing five minutes that University seriously threatened, with one shot hitting the inside of the post and another striking the bar before going over, and Gala were grateful for the safe handling of ‘keeper Wright in a frantic period.
But the visitors held on for a much-needed victory and, while it was an excellent overall team performance, the back four of Lee Stephen, Kevin Waugh, George Windram and Billy Miller deserved special mention for a solid display.
Goal hero Aitchison said afterwards:”I’ve not scored one like that for a while and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I caught it well and I would love to see it again, as I didn’t see it go in.
“The players were determined to react to what happened the previous week and gave everything.
“Edinburgh Uni are a good side and, like all games in this league, we knew it was going to be difficult.
“But the win was the perfect tonic for us and we can look forward to some big games coming up with confidence.”
Gala FR: Wright, Stephen, Miller, Waugh, Windram, Pringle, Aitchison, Watson, Paliczka, Bonnington, Simpson.
Subs: White, Noble, Common, Bonnar, Sutherland.